I remember, about nine years ago, my entire team walking into Skyrink's home locker room, getting relaxed and mentally ready for our final game, prepping and donning our uniforms, and then, essentially, sitting around, waiting to hit the ice to do our pre-pre warm-up and loosening up. Stretching, getting used to the pads, and overall getting mentally into combat mode. By the time we were finally skating out onto the ice in front of the crowd to team introductions, it was three hours from the point we had originally hit the ice.
Now that Super Bowl XLII is nearly upon us, all the bullshit -- the silly news stories about some naked guy in Wisconsin that has gone to every Super Bowl, the goofy predictions (as if Regis and Kelly or Conan O'Brien know dick about football), the ESPN ads documenting the up-to-the-minute pre-game forums, panels, etc. -- it's all nearly over. Since the last time the Giants went to the Super Bowl -- in 2001, for Super Bowl XXXV -- I've generally looked on this game with a blind eye. I am a football fan, but the Super Bowl -- unless it's involving the Giants -- rarely interests me, because so little of Super Bowl Sunday is actually about football. The ads, the sales, the party themes -- it's all a distraction from what should otherwise be a great game. In fact, the only time -- this instance included -- I've ever had friends over to watch the game is when the Giants are included. This time around, I'm celebrating the fact that we'll be watching in HD, but the truth is it's a non-issue. I'd be happy watching on a 9" black and white with rabbit ears. In essence, it's about the game; all the other crap -- the dips, the alcohol, the food, the TV -- is secondary.
And now that it's almost time, I am getting excited not only for the game itself, but for the fact that we can finally put all the ancillary crap behind us and focus on (let's hope) a good game of football. That, and despite the fact most of the attendees of the upcoming Super Bowl 42 soiree at Casa de Boogie like Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, the chosen entertainment for halftime, I've opted -- in Giants and Casa de Boogie tradition -- to provide alternate entertainment, and this year will be no different. Prior to Tom Petty hitting the field/stage/stage/field, we'll have already fired up "Blue Harvest," the DVD featuring the Family Guy spoof of the Star Wars saga. For those of you who haven't seen it, get yourself a copy, it's a trip (the package is, essentially, the same thing that was broadcast on Fox and/or Cartoon Network, but it's still worth the $20 or whatever).
Aside from the fact that I'm a rabid Giants fan, having a big game upcoming on the horizon always reminds me of the last time my team won the NYC Cup, so it's possible the majority of the reason I'm as jazzed as I am has something to do with the sense of impending vicarious combat. The truth, however, is none of it really matters much: all I know is my place will be a-rockin' with Gameday up until kickoff, and thereafter, we'll be bouncing off the walls provided it's a real game. If it's a blowout, we'll stick with it for as long as we can -- or until the vodka runs out.
One final note: I won't bother making a prediction per se. However, as I've publicly concluded with most of my interested friends, as an unbiased observer, I believe the Giants will lose by 10-14 points. Having said that, as a Giants fan -- I am hoping they manage to pull off an historic upset and send Bob Kraft and his team home with no hardware. I've watched the Giants meander through the season at times, and I'm still not convinced Eli Manning was produced from the deep end of the gene pool as was his brother; however, I have been impressed by his evolution this season (even from first halves to second halves of games) and I would not be shocked if the Giants did it. Do I have high expectations? No. Do I have high hopes? Yes.
If the Giants are blown out, I won't be crying myself to sleep tomorrow night. All the same, if they lose, I'll still be bleeding Big Blue.
The bottom line is that is why all the other bullshit -- recipes, TV dimensions and resolutions, pre-game warm-up shows, the guest list, half-time entertainment -- all can -- thankfully -- be relegated to the trash bin as of tomorrow night in favor of -- hopefully -- a good game and, moreover, a Giant win.